Lancaster, PA, to Catasauqua, PA
Sunday, May 14, 2006 … 72 Camper Miles – Total 72
Overcast with rain at night.
We got underway at 2:37 pm on Mother’s Day, bound for our first stop at Bill’s parent’s home in Catasauqua, PA. There we’d celebrate the day and visit with family. It was a short drive … only about 75 miles. We shared the road, for a while, with the “Make a Wish” truck convoy that runs on US-222 every Mother’s Day. The convoy included hundreds of trucks, all sparkling shiny with drivers and Make a Wish kids in each, air horns blaring. Along the highway on both sides and on bridges across the highway were thousands of people. Some had walked while others had parked their cars on the grassy berms. Many of the onlookers were Amish from farms adjoining the highway. It was quite a sight!
These were our first miles with the camper and car fully loaded. There was some sway with the camper so we stopped to fully inflate the camper tires (50 psi) and add a little pressure to the car tires. That stopped the sway and the rig handled well the rest of the way.
They say things happen in threes. I guess we can say the same for us at the beginning of this trip.
Event 1: Approaching our destination, Bill noticed that he no longer saw the bicycle handlebars extending well above the camper. Examining the situation, we found that the torque from the bike rack on the camper bumper had broken the welds between the bumper and the camper frame. That signaled the end of the bikes. Off they came and went into storage in Dad’s garage. We set the camper up in Mom & Dad’s driveway and enjoyed dinner and visiting with Bill’s family. We spent the first night of our trip snuggled in our camper’s bed in the driveway.
Catasauqua to Rock Hall, MD
Monday, May 15, 2006 … 160 Camper Miles – Total 232
This morning Dad helped locate a local welder who did a great job rewelding the bumper so we could get on our way. Just after noon we drove to Wilmington, DE, to visit with Bill & Liv Reichle. Afterwards we drove to Rock Hall, MD, to visit Sandy’s Uncle, Joe Breslin.
We set the camper up in Joe’s driveway and visited with Joe. Bill drove into town for pizza and we spent the evening talking and watching TV.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 … 0 Camper Miles – Total 232
Sunny and warm.
Bill made a quick trip to the Sailing Emporium to drop off our bike helmets, which we no longer needed, on our boat and to take a shower.
Event 2: He encountered friend, Bill Hutchinson, after his shower and during their discussion Hutch pointed out the fact that the left rear tire on the car was going flat. Long story short, the tire had a large screw embedded in the tread. Bill’s efforts to change to the spare were frustrated by the fact that the car had a keyed, anti-theft, lug nut on each wheel and Bill had no key to remove the keyed nut. The marina gang reinflated the flat tire so Bill could get to a local garage to fix the flat. There, they managed, with difficulty, to remove the keyed nut with special tools and fix the flat. Later, Bill went to Chestertown to have the remaining keyed nuts removed and purchased standard nuts as replacements. While installing the replacements at Joe’s, one of the new nuts cracked and broke! The local garage guy ordered another replacement and installed it that evening, removing the wheel to remove the broken piece of lug nut.
Event 3: Bill got a call from his dermatologist’s office saying that they’d gotten a positive pathology report on a couple of small growths he had removed the previous week. They could treat the areas on Wednesday but Bill would have to be in Ephrata, 110 miles away, by 9:00 am.
While Bill was occupied with tires and lug nuts, Sandy cleaned the house and did Joe’s laundry. Sandy’s sister, Jackie, and husband, Tom Groff, drove down from Lancaster that day to take Joe to the doctor and buy groceries and meds. After Tom & Jackie headed home, we had dinner with Joe; filets on the grill with sweet potatoes and broccoli. Yummy!
Rock Hall to Salisbury, MD
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 … 120 Camper Miles – Total 352
Beautiful … sunny and warm.
Bill hit the road at 6:00 am, headed for Ephrata and his dermatologist. By noon the deed was done and Bill was back in Rock Hall. Meanwhile, Sandy walked with Joe’s neighbor, Joan Hasselquist. Later, Ned & Joan and Karen & Ron Butler stopped by to see the tin tent and to wish us well on our journey.
We said goodbye to Joe and headed south to Salisbury to visit with Steve & Laurie Schwalb. We stuck to the back roads and stopped for a short tour of Trap Pond State Park near Laurel, DE. The main attraction there is the stand of cypress in and around the pond. We took the gentle walk through the woods along the pond’s shore to Cypress Point and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the stand of cypress.
It was Steve & Laurie’s 31st anniversary today. They were home when we arrived and we set up the camper in their driveway. (Is this driveway camping at its finest or what?) Actually, Laurie insisted that we use the guest room, which was fine with us. Laurie and Steve prepared a great dinner of grilled chicken and sausages and we spent the evening catching up on each other’s lives and that of daughter, Lindsey, at school at University of MD. We also watched the 2005-2006 Kick ‘n Gliders video that Bill created for this year’s banquet.
Salisbury to Christopher’s Run Campground, VA
Thursday, May 18, 2006 … 239 Camper Miles – Total 591
Beautiful … sunny and warm.
Saying goodbye to Steve and Laurie, he to work and she to an appointment, we drove into town to see Bob & Kay Hutchinson. We were pleased to see that Bob was recovering nicely from open heart surgery. We had to set up the camper for them and, as usual, it caused passing cars to slow to see the novel structure. We visited for an hour or so and were on our way.
We headed back up the Delmarva via US-50 and crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis. Keeping with our small highways philosophy, we headed out south of DC and crossed the Potomac via US-301. It surprised us how heavily developed even this rural area is. Then, it was cross country toward the US-33 entrance to Shenandoah National Park. We didn’t quite make it as early as we’d like and chose to stop for the night at Christopher’s Run Campground on Lake Anna. We’d hoped to camp in the nearby State Park, but it was not yet open for the season.
Christopher’s Run was fine, however, and had the benefit of providing wireless internet access throughout the facility which we used to catch up on e-mail and finances. We made a salad of left-over chicken for dinner.